St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner was very passionate about prosecuting the McCloskeys’ for using legally-owned firearms to defend their property from trespassing Black Lives Matter protesters.
The McCloskeys insisted that their prosecution was politically motivated and that they would not receive a fair trial. What they didn’t know is that their prosecution was also a cash cow and a political vehicle for Gardner's re-election campaign.
After a review of an application submitted by the couple's lawyer, Joel Schwartz, Circuit Judge Thomas Clark II disqualified Gardner from the case.
While making the ruling, Judge Clark noted that Gardner's actions “initiated a criminal prosecution for political purposes.” The Circuit judge also found that the prosecutor's actions undermined McCloskeys’ right to a fair trial.
Clark also noted that Gardner’s fundraising emails solicited money by positioning herself against the McCloskeys and her political opponents.
“Like a needle pulling thread, she links the defendant and his conduct to her critics,” Clark wrote. “These emails are tailored to use the June 28 incident to solicit money by positioning her against the defendant and her more vocal critics.”
The McCloskeys had applied for Gardner’s removal citing an “appearance of impropriety.” The couple’s lawyer indicated that she was sending fundraising emails soliciting money for the Democratic primaries using his clients’ names.
Gardner proceeded to win her party primaries and later defeated her Republican challenger Daniel Zdrodowski during the general elections. Evidently, Gardner used the case to rally her voting block that mostly consisted of the Black Lives Matter protesters.
Currently, the only remaining option is to appoint a special prosecutor who should review the case, toss it out, and charge Gardner with abuse of office.
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